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Fully automatic coating system meets quality and optimisation requirements





BERNSTEIN AG relies on its own (smart) products for safety technology

BERNSTEIN AG from Porta Westfalica recently put two fully automatic coating robots for powder coating of enclosures into operation in its own production. In-house products are used to ensure safety when handling the robots.

In search of two reliable coating robots for its production site in Hille/Hartum, BERNSTEIN turned to the engineers of an experienced supplier of complete coating systems. This was because BERNSTEIN needed two fully automatic coating robots for the successive powder coating of the front and rear sides of enclosures. One criterion that those responsible set for the robots was the particularly high repeat accuracy of the coating process in order to guarantee a consistently high quality of the coating. On the other hand, the robots had to work very efficiently, i.e. apply the powder coating sparingly and be programmed so precisely that as little as possible was missed.

For safety reasons, the robots work "behind bars" in one robot cell each, so that nobody gets hurt when they are in motion. "As a supplier of industrial safety and enclosure technology, it was obvious to rely on our own products for the necessary safety technology," says Bernd Borcherding, head of production in Hille/Hartum.

No sooner said than done: as long as the coating robot is in motion, BERNSTEIN safety technology prevents access. Two guard locking switches "SLC" are used for this purpose. The SLC is located on the safety door that provides access to the safety area of the respective robot cell. The emergency release, mounted on the front of the SLC, enables the safety door to be opened immediately from the outside in an emergency. In contrast, the escape release, located on the rear of the switch, enables immediate opening from the inside should an emergency occur. The mechanically stressed component of the locking switch, for example the rotating head, is made of metal. This makes it extremely robust and durable. Lightweight and functional, on the other hand, is the enclosure made of plastic.

The monitoring of the two locking switches SLC is also handled by a BERNSTEIN product, namely the programmable safety relay "SCR P". Here, each robot cell is equipped with a separate SCR P, which is wired to the corresponding locking switch SLC of the access door. When the door is opened, therefore, only the coating robot of the associated safety area stops, but not the second robot behind the other grid door, which can continue to work unhindered.
The safety evaluations, on the other hand, are interconnected in such a way that the connected emergency stop devices stop the entire machine when it is necessary. The external emergency stop of the conveyor system that conveys the housing parts through the coating booths can also be evaluated by the SCR P devices and thus stop both robots in the event of a standstill.

"With the newly integrated coating robots, we reduce the powder requirement per part while at the same time achieving a recurring high quality of the coated surface. We are more than satisfied with the implementation. The fact that we can rely on the safety technology was predictable, after all we know the advantages of our own products very well," adds Bernd Borcherding. "All in all, a successful project and an investment in the future and in the satisfaction of our customers."

Founded in 1947, BERNSTEIN today employs almost 600 people in 10 countries and is already in its third generation as an internationally active family business. The company's product portfolio ranges from switches, sensors and enclosures to support systems and operating terminals to system solutions for operating and safeguarding entire machines and plants.

Coating robots in the BERNSTEIN powder coating system for housing parts
Two coating robots are used at BERNSTEIN AG for powder coating housing parts.
BERNSTEIN SLC safety switch monitors access to the paint shop
As long as the respective coating robot is in motion, the locking switch with guard locking "SLC" prevents access. The clearly visible emergency unlocking device, mounted on the front, enables immediate opening from the outside in an emergency.
Escape release option for BERNSTEIN SLC safety switches with guard locking
The escape release, located on the back of the SLC, enables immediate opening from the inside by turning, should an emergency occur.
The SCR P monitors the connected safety switches
Monitoring of the two locking switches with guard locking SLC is also handled by a BERNSTEIN product, namely the programmable safety relay "SCR P".